What an impressive, gutsy effort by the young, New York Islanders. I must confess that I had my uncertainties about how things would go, but the Isles obviously had a game plan in how to contain Sidney Crosby, and they stuck to it. So, “Sid the Kid’s” 25 game point scoring streak was stopped at 25.
The Islanders got a first period goal from Josh Bailey to take a 1-0 lead, but the Penguins tied it in the second period after a give away by John Tavares. Prior to that, though, the Islanders also had a goal from Matt Moulson that should have counted, but the whistle had blown quite prematurely with the puck clearly still loose.
In the third period, the Penguins did everything they could to get Crosby the puck and the potential point to continue his streak, but the Islanders continued to play strong on the defense and Rick DiPietro, in his first game back from coming off the IR, looked sharp and focused. Ricky made several big saves and earned the victory for himself and his team. The Islander offense also continued to do there best to end the game in regulation as well, but they just could not do so. It took until the shootout and after PA Parenteau scored in the 4th round, DP stopped Mark Letestu to give the Islanders the win in the shootout.
As for a few of my, perhaps, politically incorrect observations, I must agree with Jiggs MacDonald’s comment about Zenon Konopka apparently receiving a ten minute misconduct penalty for talking to Sidney Crosby before the shootout. You can’t trash talk your opponents now? Or was it because it was Crosby? I found that kind of odd because I think we’d have tons of misconducts game in and game out if guys got the gate for giving players on the opposing team crap.
Secondly, why didn’t the Penguins receive a too many men on the ice penalty in the closing seconds of the third period, but the Isles received one in the overtime? Why does John Sim seem to get called on everything he apparently does, yet he can be roughed up, pulled down or otherwise abused without a call going against the offending player? Just some idle curiosities that struck me last night as I listened to the game. Man it was good to hear the voice of Jiggs MacDonald calling the play by play on television again.
Lastly, as a few more positive comments, I am impressed a great deal by the play of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald. I wonder, too, if Gary is correct in his observations about the trade of James Wisniewski, but I think the defense will be fine in the long term. Hamonic is just stepping up and doing more and more each game, while MacDonald continues to prove how the draft rankings can be misleading as to the potential talent a player will bring to the NHL.
Finally, OK, I am sold on Matt Martin. That boy hits everything wearing an opposing jersey, and he isn’t afraid of whomever that guy might be. I had no problem with his boarding penalty in the least.
Oh, and I lied. One more point. Is Frans Nielsen one of the best kept secrets in the NHL? Another solidly impressive game from Mr. Nielsen for sure.
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